Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How NOT to make a video

Now that I know how to upload videos, I've decided to go back into the FutureDV archives and find some relics to post here. I thought, hey, why not start with my very first (modern) video project?

So I went back to 18 months ago, when I had to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) as a sort of "final exam" for the Field Production Course that I took at the local Cable Access studio.

With the help of my buddy Antony Rodriguez, we put together a 22-second PSA to promote voter turnout (this was just days before the 2004 Presidential election, and we all know how well THAT turned out!) Here's the PSA itself:

OK, so it was very basic, but good enough for me to get my certificate. Antony's PSA on Drunk Driving (BTW, he's against it) was much better, and in fact he won a Tommie Award for it at the annual awards a while back.

After the three-hour taping session, I had a bunch of outtakes to sift through, so I put together an outtake reel. It runs about 2 minutes, and it shows just how hard it can be to tape a commercial. Enjoy!

Yeah, it WAS that awful! Just let me say I'm sorry for making you watch that.

Oh man, I finally figured out how to post videos!

This is gonna get ugly.

Don't blame me if you don't like ' asked for it!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The screenplay is coming along nicely...

I've been working on my "Mallrats/Porky's/insert-teen-movie-here" screenplay this weekend, and it's been a lot of fun.

Scene from "Mallrats"

I wrote my favorite scene already, and sketched out a bunch more. I'm sure I'll make changes here and there during the rewrites, but for now I'm enjoying visualizing the scenes I write.

Plus, today I did some taping for a Robert Greenwald-produced 30-minute campaign DVD for Ned Lamont. Tomorrow I'll have more details on my Connecticut Bob political blog. Without even knowing it when I volunteered to tape an interview, apparently just by showing up and turning the camera on I'm now a contractor to him, and some of my stuff might appear on this legend's video. Holy shit, will THAT look cool on my resume!

I wonder if I can get an industry union card for this?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Health Club update: Limping is cool!

So, I was at the health club about two weeks ago. I was totally getting into the routine of working out 3 to 4 times a week, and I was starting to feel really good about myself.

Then I, like the complete maniac I am, decided it was a good idea to put the pin into the bottom plate on the leg-lift machine. You know, the one that Russian weightlifters use to build up their massive thighs?

Well, I found out that my leg muscles are stronger than my knee joints by a factor of, oh, I dunno, a MILLION?

The fact that while I did ten reps before I noticed a funny sensation that closely resembled pain should say something about my lack of instinct for self-preservation. Because I struggled to finish the set, while repeating to myself that age-old lie about "No Pain, No Gain". I truly felt like I must have been gaining a lot.

Wrong-o you dummy! Because the next day I noticed a little swelling about the right knee. It didn't hurt much, it just felt tight as hell. In fact, I even spent a good amount of time shooting hoops in my driveway, although I was running a little funny to retrieve the basketball. Yeah, I'm smart.

By the middle of the next week I realized I'd fucked up my knee something serious. I started applying heat, ice, Ace bandages, and anything else I could think of to try and make it start healing. When those didn't provide immediate results, I liberally applied single-malt scotch in frequent doses. It didn't do shit for my knee, but I started not caring as much about it.

Today's Thursday; thirteen days since I wrecked it. My knee has finally stopped clicking when I walk, and the swelling only happens when I overdo the stairs or walking about. My floating kneecap has settled back into more or less it's original position. I'm thinking maybe another week or ten days and I'll be able to go back to the gym. And start from absolute fucking scratch.

But I'll be careful. Because if this happens again, I can only guess where my next stop would be:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Jesus, not ANOTHER blog about politics?!?

Uhhhh....sure! Why not?

My new blog Connecticut Bob (spelled "") is now online. This way I'll be able to post all that political stuff over there, and keep this blog available for whatever stuff I usually put here.

I've also copied all the political blog entries from here, so you can go to CTBob for all the old posts. Starting tomorrow, I'll try to post something there nearly every day.

Check it out and leave a comment. And of course, "Let's Go Ned!"

"I haven't felt this good since '86..."

I know a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll just say this one thing:

"Let's Go Mets!"

Monday, April 17, 2006

"An Amusing Rage"

Found a neat website while reading Fire Dog Lake recently, that automatically makes anagrams of any words you enter. An anagram is, of course, a re-arrangement of the letters of a word or words to create new word(s).

You go to this website, enter your name or whatever you want anagrammitized ( that a word?) and see what pops up.

I entered "Robert Adams", and was awarded with 'Drab maestro'. Hmmm...I guess I'll just forget composing music for the rest of my life. Actually, it's vaguely depressing in a way to find your name spells out something that can seem a little significant. Like reading your horoscope and finding out you're a lousy musician or something.

Even creepier is some of the anagrams generated when I entered the names of some of my friends. Like, weird creepy. Even weirder than "Drab maestro". But I'm not going to post them here.

Try famous people. Here's some examples:

George W. Bush = "He Grew Bogus"
Donald Rumsfeld = "Muddler of lands"
Joe Lieberman = "I Am Noble, Jeer!"
Albert Einstein = "Ten Elite Brains"

Is that cool or what? Go to Anagram Genius to try it out.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the title of this post? It's an anagram of "Anagram Genius", of course.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I can't believe I'm only starting this NOW!

Sometimes the obvious is the hardest thing to see.

Today I was reading a blog, and several messages referred to those awful sugary concoctions known as Marshmellow Peeps. The mental image of "Peeps" suddenly triggered a long-ago memory in me.

Several weeks ago, I was reminiscing with an old friend about a place where we both worked many, many years before, and the subject of "Peeps" came up. We used to have a lot of laughs at that crummy job, and we started talking about the best stories we had from way back then. Some of the funniest stuff had to do with the "Peeps" and those Chocolate Easter Bunnies.

Before I knew it, my friend and I brought up a good eight or ten hilarious incidents that I'd almost forgotten. Some of the stories were so good, we had to stop for a bit just to let our laughing die down. It was fun talking about the good ol' days, but it didn't occur to me right then that there was anything noteworthy there.

So today when I read the thing about the "Peeps", I started forming an idea in my mind. Why not write down everything I can remember about the job, the adventures, and the people we worked with, and try to craft it into a coherent story?

I blinked a couple of times in my usual dumbfounded way, then darted to the den and fired up Microsoft Word. An hour later, I'd drafted a dozen true characters, a bunch of bizarre incidents, and a rough storyline that will work if I make a reasonable effort to polish it. I just re-read it, and see that it will fit in perfectly with a Porkies/Caddyshack/Mallrats demographic. And that's exactly the kind of movie I can see myself writing (and maybe even making).

I can't believe it never occurred to me before to write all this stuff down!

Yeah...great; now I've got to add "complete my screenplay" to my TODO I'm not busy enough right now!

But hey, when writing is this much fun, it hardly feels like work!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Christ, I have TWO blogs already...

...and it looks like I might have to create a third one. I'm starting to feel like a blog-bot...kinda like the guy in the picture below:

Actually, I rarely type while sitting at a desk; it's so ... I don't know, conventional? I prefer to recline comfortably in my La-Z-Boy chair, place the keyboard in my lap (right below where I rest the TV remote on my belly) and type this blogging magic for you to read.

And if that seems like more information than you'd like to process, I apologize.

Anyway, my recent interest in Connecticut politics, and specifically Ned Lamont's campaign, is starting to take up a lot of space in this blog. Which was, in fact, created for me to discuss my video-making exploits. I've spent a lot of time writing about sailing, which resulted in my Sail Full Tilt blog being born.

See? This is my boat, Full Tilt. I love sailing on it, but I talk about it over on that other blog, so as not to bore anyone who reads this blog for movie-making talk.

Anyway, I'm starting to feel that all this political talk belongs in it's own blog. They're so easy to set up that I'd be lying if I said it was too much trouble. But then again, having THREE blogs to update and maintain MIGHT be a pain in the ass.


If I can think of a sufficiently witty name (along the lines of My Left Nutmeg, for instance), I just might start one. Stay tuned for details...if this happens, it'll probably be within the next week or so...

"Train Wreck...The Making of Clerks II"

As you may have gathered from reading this blog (all five of you, I think), I'm a fan of the films of Kevin Smith. Ever since Clerks came out, I've enjoyed his weird take on life. Sure, he's not Kubrick or Scorcese (hell, he's barely a director at all), but his films are what they are.

You don't need a film-appreciation degree to figure out Kevin Smith's movies. They're funny, juvenile and unpolished. Like me. That is, except for Jersey Girl...and we forgive you for that one, Kevin.

12 years after Clerks, Smith has come full circle, and gone back to the well for another bucketfull of Clerks; the aptly titled Clerks II. It was previously called "The Passion of the Clerks", which was a lame joke even when it was relatively topical. But at least Clerks can HAVE a sequal; Mel Gibson didn't leave much room for a "Part II" with his flick. Sheesh, good thinking there Mel!

Smith is nothing if not a natural-born promoter, so he's got a great online video blog called Train Wreck...The Making of Clerks II. There are dozens of backstage videos posted, plus easy links to the Clerks II website and Kevin's scandalously honest personal blog My Boring-Ass Life (which is anything but boring, trust me!)



Dante and Randal are now in their thirties, and still clerking, only now they're at a fast-food place. That's about all you really need to know going in. Oh, and you can count on the usual raw humor that was so charming in Clerks.

This latest epic from the "Federico Fellini of dick-jokes" will open on August 18th.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

An "Indie" isn't always a film

"Bush's favorite Democrat"

In this article in yesterday's Connecticut Post, Senator Lieberman hasn't ruled out a run as an independent candidate if he loses the Democratic primary.

"Win or lose the convention, Lieberman and Lamont will likely face off in a primary on Aug. 8.

The loser of that contest would have until 4 p.m. the next day to file a petition with the secretary of the state, including signatures from at least 7,500 registered voters, to have his name on the November ballot as an independent candidate."

This makes for an interesting situation...if Joe loses on August 8th, he has at most about 20 hours to get the requisite amount of signatures.

7,500 is a LOT of signatures...there's very little chance that the Senator's election staff can mobilize, collect, assemble and then turn in that many signatures in that amount of time. Which means it's likely that either Joe will sit out the 2006 election if he doesn't win the primary, or he will remain in the race as in independent with signatures that will likely have been collected while he was running as a Democrat!

In my opinion that would be unethical at the very least, and election fraud at most. Either way it would probably be fatal to Lieberman's election chances if publicized.

Or, Lieberman can cash in his chips right now, register as the Republican we all know he is, and make an appearance at the May 13th GOP convention. At least then I'd admire his honesty.

ADDITIONALLY: Does anyone know how to determine where Senator Lieberman's campaign contributions come from? I'm thinking along the lines of individual donors lists with political party affiliation details, and corporate/organization donors? It would be interesting to see how many individual and corporate Republican contributions our (current) Democratic Senator has received. Let me know.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"Milford...the Movie?"

It says something about the non-coherence of the local filmmaking community when a movie about my hometown has been in production for over a year without my knowing about it! Oh well, it probably has as much to do with my own complacency as with the lack of communication between those of us who make movies.

(This is from their website:) "Milford, America 06460 is about your town and ours. In this feature-length documentary, Mike Stock and Liz Theis bring us on a tour of their swiftly-developing suburban hometown. Having little money to go elsewhere after college, Liz and Mike returned to the place they knew best--or so they think. The two watch as their once-quaint, historical seaside town becomes a cookie-cutter consumer mecca. The directors balance sarcastic humor with bleak and disheartening honesty as they guide us through the hometown they hate to hate. The two directors reveal conflicted feelings for Milford, sharing both hope and despair for their ever-changing home, which struggles with its own identity."

The New Haven Register has a good story in today's edition about the film (unfortunately, you have to register to read the story online...I guess that's why they call it the New Haven REGISTER! LOL! LMAO! OMG!!! WTF!!!)

(...and yes, I'm an ass)

I like the documentary's concept, and the trailer looks promising. It's a little strange to see all these landmarks from my hometown being shown in a movie; I can sort of understand how everybody left in Flint, Michigan felt when seeing "Roger & Me"...although Milford is far from being a community bankrupted by the closing of their main industry like Flint. (After all, we got Subway, and they ain't going nowhere!)

I'm hoping to see this movie completed, and I wish the filmmakers all the best. Mike & Liz, if you see this, drop me an email and let me know how it's going.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Be sure you're registered to vote!

As you probably know, I'm supporting Ned Lamont's challenge to beat Joe Lieberman in the 2006 Senate election. There will be a primary election on August 8th to determine which candidate will run as the Democratic choice. Connecticut has closed primaries, meaning you must belong to the party you're selecting a candidate for. In order for Ned Lamont to have a chance to become our next Senator, you have to be a registered Democrat to vote for him in the primary.

Here is a link to a voter registration form, with which you can mail in to register to vote in Connecticut, or change or enroll in a party. This is important to know, because according to the instructions, it can take up to THREE MONTHS for a change of party to take effect. In other words, if you're registered as a Republican (and I was until last month) you have to submit the form to change parties by MAY 8TH in order to vote in the Democratic primary on August 8th.

And if you never selected a party when you registered to vote, you need to enroll in the Democratic party. This should also be completed as soon as possible. To find out which party (if any) you're enrolled in, contact your town's Registrar of Voters office. Call your town hall and they can help you.

If you're unhappy with the way the war is going; if you think Senator Lieberman is too good a friend to President Bush; if you're dissatisfied with the current lack of direction of the sure you're properly registered to vote.

And vote for Ned Lamont. Tell your friends and family about his campaign. It's time to take back this country!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Get your EPU on!

Over at FireDogLake, a brilliantly written political blog widely known for it's relentless search for the truth in the Bush Administration scandals (pick any one of them; trust me, FDL's on the case), there is a curious phenomenon called "getting EPU'd".

This happens in the comments section, whenever an article is posted and anywhere from 50 to 200 messages typically are written, just about everyone leaves and goes to post on the new thread as soon as a new article is posted. Sometimes, a commenter may have crafted a fine response to something upthread, and posts it, only to find that everyone has moved on.

One longtime commenter ("Evil Parallel Universe") had a string of so many late messages that we began referring to the situation as "getting EPU'd". As in, "I'm reposting this comment in this new thread because I got EPU'd."

The other day a few commenters suggested marketing an FireDogLake t-shirt reflecting the phenomenon, which makes it as inside a political blog reference as has come down the pike in years. So, through the magic of Photoshop, here's my concept of the t-shirt:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

An evening with Ned Lamont

Tonight Joyce and I went to Naples Pizza near Yale University in New Haven to see Senate candidate Ned Lamont speak at the monthly meeting of Democracy For America Link.

We got there about 45 minutes before Ned was scheduled to speak, so we
relaxed, ordered a pizza, and chatted with fellow democrats. It was really cool to talk to people who'd actually seen this blog! I'd like to give shout outs to Mike Slattery (a fan of, Sten Westgard (member of the Orange Democratic Committee), and Kelly Monaghan from My Left Nutmeg.

Over a white pizza with sliced tomatoes and garlic (but not too much...we're here to talk to people, not melt their faces off), we read some campaign literature and waited for Ned to speak. The back room of Naples Pizza is a comfy little place, with forest green walls scratched with graffiti, and neon beer signs scattered about. Here's Joyce enjoying the pizza and beer...see the classy graffiti on the wall?

The chairman of DFA Link New Haven introduced Ned, and then the man himself took the mic. He spoke with a clear strong voice, and in fact didn't use the mic for the most part. He started with a joke asking if any Yalies showed up in Bridgeport today to cheer on their favorite son (Bush, of course, is a Yale grad; proving once again that wealth and influence can overcome unbridled stupidity), then went on to quote Bridgeport Mayor Fabrizzi, "He's welcome in Bridgeport, but none of his policies are working in my town; what's he doing here?"

He then discussed how his campaign evolved from focusing mostly on the war in Iraq to issues such as jobs, health care costs, education, immigration, the environment, etc. He joked about how giving part of the $90 billion tax subsidy bill to companies like Exxon/Mobil to drill for oil was "like subsidizing fish to swim". He also addressed the giant LNG platform proposed for Long Island Sound and how we can fight it.

Ned seems to have a focus and clarity that so many politicians lack. He gives plain answers to complex problems, and while not promising to immediately solve all these problems, he at least has an idea where to start. And that's a lot more than people like Joe "Stay The Course" Lieberman have been offering us. He got a huge cheer with his closing statement, about how someone told him to not jeopardize a Senate seat, and he replied, "Connecticut is a progressive state. You're not going to lose a senator, you're going to gain a democrat!" Standing ovation and loud applause from the roughly 100 people crammed into the smallish room.

I recorded the entire speech on my MP3 player, and while it's not the greatest quality in the world, you can hear what he's saying and most of the questions he was asked. If anyone wants a copy of the Lamont_04-05-2006.wav file, email me at futuredv(at) and I'll attach it to an email. It's about 9MB and runs 38 minutes.

UPDATE: The Ned Lamont Resource at La Resistance has a compact .mp3 version of the speech; you can listen to it RIGHT HERE. The Q&A portion of the talk is located here. Thanks Beau! Please keep in mind that the audio quality of these clips are rather low, but if you crank up the volume you'll hear everything Ned discusses. UPDATE II - Go to the link at the bottom of this article for ConnecticutBLOG, where they have excellent video of the speech and Q&A. Good work guys!

Oddly, Ned was positioned almost directly beneath a neon Budweiser sign...I hope the press photos are properly framed and cropped, or he's going to look like he's shilling for Anheiser-Busch!

Ned then spent a good 20 minutes answering questions from the attendees. Afterwards, we got in line to talk to him. We met his campaign scheduler Kim, and then we introduced ourselves to Ned. I mentioned how much Firedoglake supports his campaign, and he said he's spoken to Jane and is very happy with the support she and the members of the blog have given his campaign.

Then I asked him if he'd promise to quit politics if people ever start calling him "Bush's favorite Democrat". He laughed and said, "I don't think there's any chance of that happening." I agreed with him on that.

A student came up to Ned and asked him to autograph his copy of "Crashing The Gate". Ned said that he'd never been asked to sign a book before. As he signed it I asked him if he read it, and he said he hadn't yet. Maybe someone can send him a copy? (Click on the link and buy a book for Ned!)

Click to enlarge image

I snapped this picture of him with Joyce, and afterwards she commented that he looked like a sailing guy, what with his Patagonia fleece vest and salty good looks. We asked Kim if he was a boater, and she said, "Oh yeah, he loves sailing." Joyce laughed and said, "I knew it!" She should know; we're both avid sailors on our J/30 "Full Tilt".

After we left, we discussed Lamont and his politics. We both feel certain he's the right guy for the job, and we're going to support his campaign. For more info on Ned Lamont, click on NedLamont.Com.

UPDATE - Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent has written a fine article about Lamont's appearance.

UPDATE II - CtBlogger has excellent video of both the speech and the Q&A session. Do yourself a favor and check out what Ned Lamont is going to do for the people of Connecticut, at ConnecticutBLOG

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Who's your daddy?"

/gloating mode ON

Wanna know who your daddy is? Huh? Do ya?

Do you want to know who won the NCAA Men's basketball pool, without correctly picking even a single Final Four team?

ME!!! That's who!

Yes sirree! I managed to win Joyce's boss's little Knights of Columbus bar pool by picking a shitload of teams to win the first two rounds, and then having the good fortune of none of the Number One seeds getting into the Championship semi's and finals. Which means it didn't matter who I picked, 'cause NOBODY picked the eventual winners.

Somehow, my absolute uncanny brilliance at selecting obscure teams to upset favorites got me enough points in the first couple rounds to allow me to coast in and win! It sure helped that UConn, Duke, Villanova and Memphis all sucked ass in the Elite Eight round! Thanks, suckers!

Oh yeah! Oh yeah! In your FACES KofC mofo's! I gots ALL yo' money now, chumps! Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh! I'm your DADDY, beeyotches!

Yes Losers, I WIN! You LOSE!
You get NOTHING!!!
Good day, sir!!!

/gloating mode OFF

(...uh, what the hell is wrong with me? Sorry about that little outburst. Who'da thunk Florida would win it all? Damn)